CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS

By Claude Anderson

 

 

AS I WAS READING ALL THE INTERESTING ITEMS ON THE FPK WEB SITE, I WENT THROUGH THE SECTION ON CAPTAINS. YOU KNOW WE HAD SOME GREAT GUY'S SITTING IN THAT OFFICE, CAPTAINS THAT ALWAYS SMILED AND BACKED YOU UP IN TICKLISH SITUATIONS, BUT WERE REAL DEPUTIES AT HEART WHO NEVER FORGOT THEIR ROOTS. I HAVE HEARD OF SOME SUPERVISORS WHO WHEN THEY ATTAIN THAT LEVEL THEY SIMPLY SIT IN THE OFFICE AND NEVER VENTURE INTO THE FIELD.

LET ME RELATE TWO INCIDENTS THAT HAPPENED TO ME, CONCERNING THE ACTION OF TWO CAPTAINS. NOBODY (I'M SURE) EVER HEARD OF THIS EXCEPT WHAT I PERSONALLY TOLD OTHER DEPUTIES AND MY

TRAINEES OR THOSE INVOLVED.

 

ONE DAY I WAS WORKING A ONE MAN CAR (11 DAYS)

AND I RECEIVED A CALL RE: 920 C (MISSING CHILD) CAR 13 TO ASSIST.

I WALKED UP TO THE FRONT DOOR OF THE LOCATION WITH MY CLIPBOARD AND REPORT FORM AND THE LADY MEETS ME AT THE FRONT DOOR. (UNKNOWN TO ME AT THIS TIME, CAPTAIN ROBERT WEDDLE WAS SITTING IN HIS OFFICE MONITORING THE CALL. HE CALLED THE WATCH LT. AND TOLD HIM "CLAUDE" (HE ALWAYS CALLED DEPUTIES BY THEIR FIRST NAME) IS TAKING A MISSING CHILD REPORT...KEEP ME ADVISED.

MEANWHILE, THE LADY TELLS ME "THIS IS JUST HORRIBLE! COME OUT IN THE BACK YARD!" AM I PUZZLED? NOT YET...THIS IS FIRESTONE!

THE LADY SHOWS ME A DEAD PIGEON! NOW, I'M PUZZLED! THE LADY DOES CLARIFY THE SITUATION BY POINTING OUT A NEIGHBOR SHOOTING THE GLASS INSULATORS OFF ALL THE TELEPHONE POLES IN THE ALLEY WITH A SHOTGUN, WHICH SHE DIDN'T CARE ABOUT, BUT WHEN HE WASTED THIS POOR PIGEON...THAT'S TIME TO CALL THE POLICE. (GREAT! INTERUPT THE PHONE SERVICE BUT DON'T KILL A PIGEON.)

NOW IT DAWNS ON ME THAT THE CALL WAS NOT A 920 C, BUT A 923 (ILLEGAL SHOOTING). NATURALLY I THOUGHT I HEARD THE CALL WRONG.

 

I WALKED OVER TO THE NEIGHBORS TRAILER WHERE "MR ALCOHOL BREATH" WITH A 410 SHOTGUN AND BOX OF SHELLS WAS PLAYING SAFARI. SHOTGUN RODE TO THE STATION WITH ME IN THE BACK SEAT AND "BUDWEISER BREATH" WAS HANDCUFFED AND BUCKLED IN MY FRONT SEAT. WHEN I WENT 10-98, 10-15, CAPTAIN WEDDLE WANTED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. THE DESK TOLD THEM I WAS HANDLING AN ILLEGAL SHOOTING CALL AND CAR 13 WAS ASSISTING.

THE CAPTAIN SAID THE CALL CAME OUT AS A "MISSING CHILD" AND HE HEARD IT! THE DESK SAID THEY HEARD ME ACKING THE CALL, BUT DIDN'T PICK UP THE BROADCAST OF THE CALL, AS IT WAS PUT OUT BY THE RADIO ROOM DOWNTOWN. A CHECK WITH CAR 13 SAID HE ACKED THE MISSING CHILD CALL, BUT WAS NOT RUSHING TO MY LOCATION, FINISHING A REPORT FIRST. CAPTAIN WEDDLE GOT ON THE TELEPHONE AND SPOKE WITH THE RADIO ROOM SUPERVISOR.

FROM THIS DATE FORWARD THE OPERATORS WERE NEVER TO BROADCAST THE "C", "23" WITHOUT ACTUALLY SPEAKING THE WORD "CHILD" OR "ILLEGAL SHOOTING LATER, CAPTAIN WEDDLE CAME UP TO ME, PUT HIS ARM AROUND MY SHOULDER AND EXPLAINED HOW GRATEFUL WE WERE NOT TO HAVE A FULL BLOWN TRAGEDY. THE SITUATION COULD HAVE A DEPUTY GETTING SHOT BECAUSE OF A "SLURRED" WORD. APPARENTLY THIS COMBINATION NEVER CAME UP BEFORE (LEAVE IT TO ME TO SET A PRESIDENCE)

I WAS IMPRESSED WITH THE CAPTAINS SINCERITY, THERE WERE ONLY THE TWO OF US, NO PRESS, NO UNDERSHERIFF OR CHIEF WAITING TO GIVE AN "ATTA BOY" HIS CONCERN FOR ALL OF HIS MEN CAME RIGHT FROM HIS HEART.

I NEVER FORGOT THIS INCIDENT AS IT SHOWS THE CONCERN THE BRASS HAD FOR US TROOPS IN THE FIELD.

HERE'S THE REST OF THE STORY... AS I WAS TRANSPORTING "BIG GAME HUNTER" TO THE STATION. I'M SOUTHBOUND ON COMPTON FROM FLORENCE AVE IN THE #1 LANE WHEN

HE TRIES TO PLAY GAMES. HE STOMPS ON MY FOOT ON THE ACCELERATOR WITH HIS LEFT FOOT. WITH ONE SMOOTH MOTION, I HIT HIM ACROSS THE FOREHEAD WITH ONE OF THOSE BLACK "CHEAPY" COUNTY FLASHLIGHTS KNOCKING HIM OUT.

"HOWEVER!!" THE END CAP ON THE FLASHLIGHT COMES OFF AND THREE BATTERIES GO FLYING OUT THE WINDOW. THEY LAND ON THE HOOD OF A CAR NEXT TO ME AND CRACK HIS WINDSHIELD. WE BOTH PULL OVER AND THE GUY IS REAL NICE...HE SAID HE HAD NO IDEA WHAT HAPPENED; SUDDENLY BATTERIES WERE DANCING ON HIS HOOD. I TOLD HIM TO FOLLOW ME TO THE STATION AND HE WALKED IN WITH ME (WITH SHOTGUN & DRUNK) I INTRODUCED HIM TO THE PATROL SGT. TELLING THE SGT THAT I BROKE THIS NICE MANS WINDSHIELD WITH MY FLASHLIGHT.

THE SGT TOOK CARE OF THE ENTIRE THING AND THE COUNTY INSURANCE TOOK CARE OF THE DAMAGE.

(THE JOKES LASTED ABOUT A WEEK ON THIS ONE...THE CONCERNED ACTION OF ONE CAPTAIN HAS LASTED A LIFETIME!)

ABOUT A YEAR LATER I'M AGAIN WORKING A ONE MAN NORTHEND UNIT AND I RECEIVE A "SHOTS FIRED" CALL AT OUR FAVORITE HOTEL AT 68TH ST. & CENTRAL. (WHAT A SURPRISE! SOMEONE WITH A GUN AT THAT FINE HOTEL?) I PULL UP TO THE CURB AND SEVERAL LADIES OF THE "SHAKESPEAREAN LITERARY SOCIETY" TOLD ME "THE DRUNKEN FOOL WAS SHOOTING AGAIN OUT HIS APARTMENT WINDOW"

JUST THEN WHO PULLS UP BEHIND MY UNIT...10 CHARLIE. CAPT. JOHN ARRUDA BAILS OUT WITH HIS BUSINESS SUIT AND LITTLE 38 CAL. SNUB NOSE REVOLVER. HE SAID HE WAS IN HIS OFFICE AND HEARD THE CALL AND THE DESK WAS ATTEMPTING TO FIND A UNIT TO ASSIST ME. SO HERE I AM! LEAD THE WAY! WHAT A GREAT (TEMPORARY) PARTNER. BY THE TIME ASSISTING UNITS ARRIVED THE SUSPECT WAS HANDCUFFED AND IN MY RADIO CAR.WITH 10C TELLING HIM TO "SHUT UP!"

ONCE AGAIN, HERE IS A CAPTAIN WITH GREAT CONCERN ABOUT HIS MEN. AND THIS IS ONLY MY EXPERIENCE. I KNOW I'M CERTAINLY NOT THE ONLY DEPUTY THESE CAPTAINS ASSISTED. I THANKED BOTH CAPTAINS AT THE TIME, NOW BOTH ARE GONE, BUT THIS ONE EX DEPUTY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER.

THIS IS WHY FPK WAS ALWAYS #1